UNLOCKING THE REST OF PARIS

“Paris ends affair with love locks, but love endures anyway…”

“After years of warning lovers from all over the world, Paris finally did it”

The locks of Pont des Arts Bridge have gone.

The tradition goes – after signing the lock and attaching it wherever you can find a space, you then throw the key into the Seine.

Luckily for me, over the latest Christmas holiday, me, my Mum and my younger sister were able to see the famous Love Lock Bridge in Paris before this world-known attraction was taken away.

Although there were many stands and stalls around us selling padlocks, we made no plans to put a lock there – and at the time of course, we didn’t know they would all soon be gone.

“Love locks” have taken over multiple landmarks – and from my many ventures across the Sydney Harbour Bridge I regularly see the attempts to deter these latched symbols.

“Pont des Arts Bridge collapsed under the weight of the locks last year, BBC News reports. Now, almost a million padlocks – weighing 45 tons” are gone. Now “Pont des Arts metal railings are to be covered with padlock-proof glass panels that are easy to clean of graffiti, according to Los Angeles Times”.

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Despite it’s removal, Paris is still one of the most romantic cities in the world.

Here’s some of the many places in Paris to visit without sticking a lock on it;

> The Eiffel Tower

One of the most romantic destinations in the world, the Eiffel Tower was originally intended as a temporary installation. The Eiffel Tower is considered an architectural wonder and attracts more visitors than any paid tourist attraction in the world.

The best way to experience the Eiffel Tower is by joining a tour group – this way you are able to avoid lines and also get to know a bit about its history. With City Wonders you are allowed Special Access: Eiffel Tower Tour with Top Level Summit Access. Features:

  • Duration 2 hours
  • Meeting place away from bustling tourists and queues
  • Access to the top-level summit of the Eiffel Tower
  • Expert, English-speaking guide
  • Audio headsets when appropriate so you can always hear your guide
  • Groups of only 20 people or fewer
  • Save hours wasted in line

Fun fact: One man, Victor Lustig led two cons and sold the Eiffel Tower, twice.

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> Musée de Louvre

The Louvre is one of the world’s largest and most visited museums.

When I was visiting Paris, one of the many reviews I heard was not to bother with the Louvre, but how could I go to Paris and NOT SEE the Mona Lisa (however small it is)? Most hotels are able to book your entry tickets through their concierge desk, this way you are able to avoid the lines.

I had been told that the Mona Lisa was smaller than I might think, and it was – yet the Louvre continued to surprise me. The Louvre is home to incredible exhibits, including remnants of the Phillip II 12th century fortress still visible in the crypt. Things to spot:

  • The Pyramids
  • Mona Lisa
  • Venus de Milo
  • Liberty Leading the People
  • Winged Victory of Samothrace
  • Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss
  • Horses restrained by grooms

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> Notre Dame Cathedral

I visited the Notre Dame Cathedral multiple times because I was DETERMINED to stand on top of those towers and see some gargoyles.

“Our Lady of Paris” is a historic catholic cathedral that is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of gothic architecture. Entering the Cathedral is free of charge and you are able to walk around and admire the architecture and beautiful stained glass windows. To take a look at the amazing view from the top of Notre Dame’s rooftop, you must be ready for the 387 steps as there are no elevators. Entry costs a little extra, but if you’ve seen “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” how could you pass up an opportunity to see some gargoyles alongside the beautiful Paris?

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> Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe was somewhere I was happy with just passing by or briefly stopping at, – although at the time I didn’t realise you were able to climb to the top of it. The top can only be reached by climbing up its 40 stairs, but before that you have to try getting to the monument itself – which is harder than expected. The Arc de Triomphe is located on one of Paris’s most famous avenues, the Champ Elysees – do NOT try crossing the traffic circle.

> Moulin Rouge

While visiting Paris I had been warned that if I were to visit the Moulin Rouge, that the area is not one of the safest. To see a show, pre-paid booking is mandatory – and there are various rules for attendance including correct clothing required and restrictions on taking pictures or filming.

Seeing a show at the Moulin Rouge is one of the more expensive of Paris attractions, but where better to have an experience like this?

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> Sacré-Coeur

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, is a roman catholic church and is a popular landmark located at the summit of the butte Montmarte, the highest part in the city.

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> Catacombs of Paris

“The origin of the Paris Catacombs, which it would be better to call “Municipal Ossuary”, goes back to the end of the 18th century”. The Catacombs of Paris are underground tombs in Paris, France. The entrance was quite surprising to me (as it is pretty much just a green door), however I would recommend an early arrival as lines form quickly.

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What do you think? Where would you want to go to on a trip to Paris?

 

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